Colossians 1:9-12 – “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”
I recently opened one of my travel Bibles. One I had used in the Katrina/Rita storms, Greece/Turkey tour, Haiti earthquake and multiple California fires. What caught my attention as I was preparing to leave for the fires in the Wasilla area, were the notes I had written on the margins of my Bible. They’re notes regarding prayer.
Have you heard the saying “Prayer should be the first thing, not the last thing”? In my travel Bible on the first page of Colossians it’s titled “Thanksgiving and Prayer” My first set of personal notes says: “1st line of defense = Prayer, 2nd Bible Study. First line under attack = Prayer. First line to go down = Prayer Lines.”
One of the things I’ve learned in emergency response is to set a standard for yourself/myself. So, in the margin of my page is a reminder.
Set a standard:
A goal is a single achievement
A goal is an accomplishment
A standard is a constant
A level of quality
A goal may be to reach a standard, but a standard will carry you through goal after goal.
In my early 30s there were two quotes that helped me focus on the changes I needed to make in the beginning days of my Christian walk. One by a man and one by a woman and I don’t believe either are Christians. I really don’t know but their words were good footholds for me.
Muhamad Ali (Cassius Clay): “I hated every minute of training — but I said to myself, ‘Don’t quit!’ Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion!”
Moya Angelou said: “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, DO better.”
Now I realize these may be very simplistic saying and ideas, but they have been great assets during times of chaos and trial.
Let me throw you another, free of charge: “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly your doing the impossible.” (Francis of Assisi)
I share this from the Compact Bible Commentary: “All wisdom and spiritual understanding. Wisdom is the practical out working of knowledge and the knowledge cannot be separated from the spiritual understanding that comes through the discernment given by the Holy Spirit.”
As I’m reading the book of Colossians, even as the fires continue to rage upon the Alaskan mainland; as families and individuals flee their homes, as rescuers rush the frontlines of defense, I am overwhelmed by the thought of spiritual warfare against the fires of hell.
Are you familiar with the New Testament Scripture from 2 Corinthians 4:18?
“So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
So, being in an active role in the response to the “seen” fires I feel the need for an urgent response for the “unseen eternal fires.”
So, when the Apostle writes these two things, “We have not stopped praying for you, asking God” and then “We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord.”
These verses conjure up an immediate mental image of Prayer Warriors; those who accept the call to not only reach the goal the apostle writes about but to reach and set the standard to pray for knowledge of God’s will, His spiritual wisdom and understanding, to set for ourselves a standard for our prayer life.
We can find great guidance from Jesus’ sermon on the mount, specifically Matthew 6:5: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street to be honored by men.”
Personally, I think this is a widely misunderstood verse. Many will not take part in public prayers because they misunderstand the purpose or meaning of this Scripture.
I will close with these Scriptures:
Proverbs 16:2 – “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”
Psalm 51:10 – “Create a clean heart in me O God and renew a right spirit in me.”